Vodka is undoubtedly one of the most popular and loved alcoholic drinks in the world. It’s a highly versatile spirit, with mild, nuanced flavors that have turned this drink into a go-to for a multitude of classic cocktails. With plenty of options to choose from thanks to the multiple brands that compete in the space, vodka lovers have a rich pool of tastes to experiment with.
Although among the most consummate drinks worldwide, the fact is that a lot of users remain uninformed about the main ingredients used for the production of this elegant alcoholic beverage.
In this article, we’ll offer some answers to questions like what is vodka made from traditionally, what vodka is made from potatoes, and what are some of the other ingredients from which you can produce this magical drink. So, before you buy vodka online, learn everything there is to know about how it’s made.
What is vodka made from?
There are many different types of vodka, each containing its own unique flavor profile and ingredients. However, all vodkas are typically made from either grain, potatoes, or sugar beets. The various ingredients are combined and then heated to a high temperature, which makes the alcohol vaporize. This vapor is then collected and cooled, causing it to turn back into liquid form. The final product is a high-quality vodka that is often enjoyed neat or mixed with other drinks.
Grains such as sorghum, corn, rice, rye, and wheat can all be used to make vodka.
Potatoes are perhaps one of the most popular choices for vodka production, as they are easy to grow and have a high starch content. Sugar beets are another option, as they contain a lot of sugar which can be converted into alcohol. You can also find vodka created from molasses from sugar beets, which stand out with a high concentration of fermentable sugars. Last but not least, it’s important to mention that your favorite vodka might be made from fruits like cherries, raspberries, or blackberries.
Let’s take things to the next level and look at the most popular vodka ingredients in more detail.
Wheat vodka is made from wheat that has been ground into a flour-like substance. This type of vodka is usually distilled multiple times which gives its distinct, smooth flavor. Although you can find wheat vodka around the world, it is the most popular type of vodka in the United States.
When it comes to taste, wheat vodkas usually have a milder taste when compared to other types of vodkas. Additionally, they fall under the category of gluten-free drinks as the distilling process eliminates the wheat’s gluten proteins from the vodka. Put otherwise, wheat vodka is an appropriate choice for celiac sufferers.
On the other hand, rye vodka is widely known in Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is the go-to vodka type for fans of the drink. To better understand the features of rye vodka, it’s best to go back a step and analyze rye in more detail.
Rye has a rather sour and bitter taste and one of its stanapart features is that it lives in cold climates. When used in vodka, rye offers a spiciness and robustness that makes the taste of the vodka very specific and distinct. If the rye concentration in vodka is high enough, you’ll feel a rich cereal taste.
Rye vodka usually goes through multiple distillation processes, making it purer and smoother.
Next up, we’d like to introduce you to one of the most popular vodka types of all time – potato vodka. It’s much smoother in taste than others, offers a distinct flavor as the potatoes come with more starch when compared to other grains, and the majority of potato vodka is created in Poland and Russia. If you’ve ever had a Chopin, Luksusowa or Wood Creek vodka then you’ve already tried potato vodka.
Potato vodka is considered a more premium quality drink. The creation process consists of fermenting potatoes. However, the earthy and nutty flavor is preserved to create the specific final taste. It’s also healthier than grain vodka as it doesn’t contain any gluten (a bonus feature for consumers on a gluten-free diet).
What are the different brands of vodka made from
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about the different vodka brands. As a drink in the limelight, there are plenty of brands offering a wide array of vodkas created from different ingredients. From rare alcolol bottles, to cheapest vodkas out there, we’ll take a closer look at the different brands available
Let’s explore some of the famous vodka brands and see what their key ingredients are.
What is Belvedere vodka made from
Belvedere is a luxury Polish rye vodka with a strong reputation. Since it was first created in 1993, it has won the hearts of many vodka lovers. In fact, it is produced using Dankowski rye – a special heritage grain with standapart genetics. The grain’s genetics go further back than intensive agricultural manufacturing and scientific plant breeding. It has special capabilities to survive cold temperatures and harsh soil conditions. This makes it extremely reliable and guaranteed, which is one of the reasons why it has been selected for the Belvedere vodka creation process.
What is Grey Goose vodka made from
Another renowned choice from the vodka world is Grey Goose. Produced in France, it is a wheat vodka that only contains two core ingredients – single-origin Picardie winter wheat and spring water. Picardy is considered France’s national breadbasket, which only makes the use of the wheat more special for Grey Goose.
Created in 1997 by Sidney Frank, Grey Goose was later bought by Bacardi in 2004. Still, the reliance on wheat continues to date.
What is Ketel One vodka made from
Just like Grey Goose, Ketel One is also created from wheat. It’s distilled from 100% wheat and is made in the Netherlands. A brand with more than 300 years of distilling experience, Ketel One receives its name from the distillery’s initial copper pot still.
What is Russian Standard vodka made from
Russian Standard is another excellent example of a popular vodka brand that relies on wheat for the creation process. It offers excellent taste and high quality, which have made the name so popular globally.
What is Svedka vodka made from
Another vodka distilled from winter wheat, Svedka vodka is a Swedish gem that is distilled five times to reach the desired final result.
What is Absolut vodka made from
And what grain is Absolut vodka made from? The brand uses winter wheat and water for vodka creation. The winter wheat in the vodka grows in Skåne County, Sweden and is different from the rest as it is sown during fall and collected in the fall of the following year.
What is flavoured vodka and what it’s made from
Apart from the classic vodkas outlined above, you can also enjoy a mouth-watering experience with flavored vodka. Although usually associated with an attempt to turn a low-quality spirit into a tasty drink, there are numerous high-quality flavored vodkas.
Flavoured vodka is mostly popular in Poland and Russia, but has slowly penetrated the world spirits market. There are plenty of tastes to experience, including honey, plum, rowan berry, cherry, blackberry, and more.
What else you should know about vodka creation
The main ingredient in vodka is one of the most important components dictating the final results. However, there are two other essentials in the creation process – fermentation and distillation.
All vodka production starts with fermentation. This step takes place at the beginning of the journey, once the raw materials have been selected. Fermentation requires sugar and yeast, where yeast feeds off the sugar to produce alcohol. To make the process possible, malt meal is used to ensure that the starch in grains is converted into sugar. For the process to take place, the grains must be heated in water and malt meal.
After the sugars have been fermented from the grains, the solid materials must be separated from the liquid. The remaining liquid is transferred to a vat with yeast. From there, the yeast enzymes withdraw oxygen from the grains’ food cells and create alcohol. This, however, is not the final result as it only contains around 16% alcohol by volume. The liquid is heated to a specific temperature, which enables it to achieve the minimum 30% to 40% AVB content.
The next phase is distillation – a process that extracts any impurities from the liquid and further increases the AVB content of the drink.
All of this vodka talk is probably making you want to move your research from text to taste. You can get a feel of all of the vodka varieties mentioned above from our spirits catalogue. We provide a colourful diversity of vodka brands, vodka flavours, and vodka types created from different grains and ingredients. Take a browse, choose your picks, and pamper your taste buds.
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